The election is over and, after 9 years, New Zealand has a different government. As with any election, hopes are high for some that this will mean better lives for the more marginalized in New Zealand society, while others are concerned about how much that better life for others will cost them to contribute to in taxes.
For one young man called Sagar Narayan and his family, the new government means that he will have his case with immigration looked at again. Mr Narayan was due to be deported from New Zealand to his native Fiji because he has an intellectual disability, and his future care was previously deemed to cost the health system in this country too much.
Now that I have your attention…death can be a very depressing subject. But in the English language, there are many sayings involving death. When we laugh really hard, we say we have “died laughing”. When a performer live on stage feels a bad “vibe” from their audience, they may say they “died on stage” (although I’m sure this has never happened to any of the performers I know!)
Most people I know think of death as the end of everything, but many religions consider death to be only the beginning of another stage of life.
At 52, I am probably more than halfway on the journey to my own death, unless some clever scientist invents a way to live forever, or at least for more than 104 years.
“Mind your language!”
That was what parents used to tell their kids to warn them not to swear. In the last 20 or 30 years however, some people in the disabled community seem to have taken that saying even more seriously than ever before.
“Disabled”, “handicapped”, “special needs”, “differently abled”, ” handicapable”. All these words and phrases have been used over the years to describe those of us whose physical abilities differ from most people’s. Then there’s the very long-winded “people first” language, as in “person with a disability” or “person with special needs” and so on.
My birthday’s coming up soon. Looking in the mirror, I seem to notice a new wrinkle on my face almost every day, lately, although that might be just the thought of getting another year older making my imagination work overtime!
It’s strange how when we’re young, some of us can’t wait to be grown up. But when we become adults, people often talk about birthdays as if they are something to be afraid of. I heard someone the other day say, “I’ll be ‘the big 3-0’ soon!”, with a frightened look on her face. It made me take notice of her words, because when this birthday has passed, I’ll be ‘the big a-lot-more-than-that’.
Birthdays measure time passing; and with time, people get older. It’s just the way it is. But are those changes we go through as we age something to be frightened of?
My favourite way to pass the time when I’m feeling down is with colouring-in books. I find when I’m paying close attention to the pictures I can feel myself relaxing with each different colour I add.